Marksmanship, the IW and historical precedents.

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by EX_STAB, Nov 16, 2009.

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  1. I've put this in here because I think it might be less prone to being spammed than in QM's, infantry or Training Wing.

    I had my first shoot with the IW for 17 years this weekend.

    It was just 40 rounds at 25m, two practices of:

    5 Prone
    5 sitting
    5 kneeling
    5 standing.

    My first groups were almost off the target but after calculating the correction (We were on iron sights - 0.5 mil per click) I wason target and my second set of groups were:

    Prone: 30mm
    Sitting 25mm
    Kneeling: 45mm (Plus a declared flier)
    Standing 40mm

    This was considered "very good" by those conducting the range, one of whom runs the Bn shooting team.

    Now it struck me that there wasn't much variation between these group sizes. This made me wonder whether this was an indication that I was shooting close to what the weapon system is capable of. The weapon in question was in good order and rattle free :omfg: although there was some damage to the crown through over-zealous cleaning.

    I have been told by an EX SASC chap that the acceptance standard for SA80 series when new (i.e. from RO) was a 35mm group at 30m fired from a machine rest. This is of course an appalling standard of accuracy compared with even the acceptance standard for a Lee-Enfield (4" group at 200yds) but would tie in with my results.

    Has anyone got any definitive numbers on this? Is the whole legend of the SA80 being "very accurate" simply down to SUSAT making it easier to hit things?
  2. An accurate weapon isn't down to the sights (although they do help you hit what you're aiming at, at longer distances). An accurate weapon is down to varying factors, including, weight, balance, tolerances during manufacture, weight to calibre ratios and more.
  3. If the initial shoot is 40 rds - what's the APWT these days?
  4. The acceptance standards for the No.4 was 5 shots into a 1.5 inch square at 30 yards, which works out at approximately 4MOA, which isn't so far off what your man said about the SA 80.
  5. That was the point I was making.
  6. Have you got a reference for that at all Stoaty?
  7. Reminds me of when I took my first few shots with my new .223 Remington. At 30yds I fired a 3 round group to confirm the bore-sighting.

    Couldn't understand why only one had landed on the target and the rest had missed. Adjusted the zero a few times chasing the error (with someone looking in the sand for the splash). My scope was second-hand so I had no manual and didn't know the click to MOA ratio.

    I'd been expecting a typical IW spread but it turned out that the boresighting had been done well, and I'd put all 3 through the same hole...
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Was it a Ruger? if so out of the box accuracy is usually excellent! I will exclude theMini 14 from that statement!
  9. So let me get this straight. You are complaining about the accuracy of a weapon that using your figures can at 100m achieve a 160mm group Standing. Considering my left t1t is bigger than that I think you'll get by.

    Also you score in the prone was pitiful ;) and all this gravel belly toss about declaring a flier won't help you if you get sent back out on operations.

    "Nooooo! Terry mate, that one didn't count okay?"

    Edit to add the bold
  10. My Lee-Enfield sporter can shoot a 30mm group at 100m. My TRG can shoot a 20mm group at 400.

    That flier took the kneeling group out to about 60mm. That's a hit on a fig 11 at 200m

    Do you have the marksmanship standards for iron sights to hand?
  11. That was just the "batch test" for each rifle. The true quality standard was much tighter:

    Maj EGB Reyolds, "The Lee-Enfield Rifle".

    (the No1 rifle, at 100 feet) "...Five shots were then fired, and four of the five shots had to be contained in a rectangle 1 in. broad by 1 1/2 in. high. Rifles which failed this test were rejected. At 600 yards ten shots were fired, nine of which had to fall within a 2-ft. circle"

    (so about 4 moa MINIMUM for each No1 rifle)

    "For the No4 Rifle, the accuracy test was the same at 100 feet. Ten per cent of all rifles were then fired at 200 yards when six out of seven shots had to fall inside a rectangle 6 inches by 6 inches, the point of mean impact having to be within 3 inches of the point of aim in any direction.

    (so the batch tolerance was about 3 moa)

    "Ten per cent of rifles fired at 200 yards were again fired at 600 yards, when six out of seven shots had to be in a rectangle 18 inches by 18 inches, the permissible deviation of point of mean impact being 9 inches up or down, or left or right."

    So overall quality standard for No4 rifles was about 3 moa MINIMUM. I have a reference somewhere that refers to the mean accuracy achieved in testing (possibly at BSA) being somewhere around 2 moa for new rifles. Thats pretty creditable for a screw-together rifle in mass production of some 4 million units....

    Incidentally, No5s had to achieve 10/10 in a 36" box at 600 yds - or 6 moa. Still not bad as a minimum acceptance standard, assuming the mean actual performance of new rifles was better than this.
  12. For reference I recall shooting a rapid fire series on a figure 11 at 300m, standing unsupported with my standard Lee-Enfield No.4 Service rifle.

    It was a five round group fired in about 12 seconds. Group size was 9" - 228mm

    This equates to a 76mm group at 100 or a 19mm group at 25. This was rapid though, not slowfire.
  14. calm down! :)

    My kneeling group was principally fcuked up because my knee was fcuked up and I couldn't maintain my position as well as I'd have liked. It's immaterial to the discussion at hand which is what the inherent Weapon System Error of the IW is.

    I don't think the IW can be called "Extremely Accurate" by any stretch if these are the acceptance standards. It could be called "Functionally accurate" in that meets the minimum requirements specified for it - although whether those originated from the accuracy the weapon was capable of as opposed to a mission assessment I don't know.


    In fact, 35mm @30mm equates to a group size that just exceeds the width of a fig 11 at 400m. This means that a firer must shoot with zero error to guarantee a hit at 400m. By that standard it isn't even good enough to meet the APWT standard.
  15. Oy! Less of the implication that "gravelbelly" = "full of excuses as to why they can't shoot straight".

    Excuse-making is equally found in APFA failures, the obese ("It's my genes!"), premiership and international managers, passed-over Majors, and Corporals who didn't get picked up for Sergeant...

    If you miss, you miss. Seemples. But here's a few reasons for analysing where things went wrong in order to take corrective action (i.e. a tight group with a flyer for 100mm means you're getting it right most of the time, but need to figure out why you occasionally fvck up; an evenly-spread 100mm group means you've got real problems).

    If you're able to call shots, it means that you've got a good handle on the 4th marksmanship principle; it tells the coach that you "get it", and generally means that you'll improve faster than the firer who can't tell a good shot from a bad one. When I'm target shooting, I call every shot to myself - even the bulls; I don't "declare" them, I use the feedback between "where I think the shot should have gone" and "where the shot actually went" to let me spot if the group is starting to shift off-centre for any reason.

    It's called being a competent coach. If all you can say to the situations above is "it's w*nk, must do better", it means that you haven't got a clue, and weren't listening on your SAA course.


    As to the subject of the thread - the weapon itself is perfectly adequate, in in the sense that it can group to the size of a man at 600; you could argue that more would be gold-plating, or that better would require a tradeoff in weight or cost (better barrels will cost more, and might be heavier). If you want a weapon with an effective individual range of 300m, you need no more than 4MOA; 600m, you want 2MOA; if you want 1000m, accept that you need 1MOA. Look at the weight of an L96 barrel...

    I've grouped well inside a Fig.11 at 600m with an L85; that would suggest that the rifle is capable of 2MOA or so. I used to struggle to hold a 4" group at 100m (practice 1 of the 1980s-vintage APWT) with our rather knackered SLRs, but when I got my hands on one with a new barrel I managed to hold a 2" group.

    A better question would be "what is the quality of the ammunition"? I mean, if you run any old cr*p through a rifle, you get rubbish groups. If you run decent ammunition, you get consistent groups. This is because the bullets are closer in weight, and the amount of powder in the case is more consistent. Why do you think there's a difference between "training" ammunition, and "operational" ammunition? Or Green Spot and Black Spot, if you're old enough?

    If you're a fanatical gravelbelly, you test several different batches of good-quality ammunition, and select the batch that gives the best result when fired through your personal weapon.